City of Phoenix Mistakenly Approves Permit for True North to Replace Iconic Chinese Roof and Art Elements Atop Phoenix Chinese Cultural Center

Press Release

For Immediate Release
November 1, 2017


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Phoenix, AZ—The City of Phoenix has mistakenly issued a permit to True North Company the owner of Realty Executives allowing them to replace the iconic Chinese Roof and art elements that sit atop the Phoenix Chinese Cultural Center.  The permit was issued Tuesday, October 31, 2017 by the City Planning Department, despite objections from the other owner of the Center and despite the fact that a Maricopa County Superior Court Judge has issued a Temporary Restraining Order preventing True North and its subsidiaries from making any changes to the roof, exterior of the building or the Prayer garden.

Szechwan Palace Restaurant, co-owner of the property at the Chinese Cultural Center, hereby demands that the city rescind its permit approval as it is inappropriate for the city to issue a permit to one land owner when the co-owner of the property objects. In this case, the restaurant does not agree with True North’s attempt to change the Chinese Cultural Center roof or to replace the artwork on top the roof. As a co-owner of the property, Szechwan Palace Restaurant demands that the city and its Planning department must take into consideration all the owners wishes on this matter. 

Additionally, since the Superior Court of Maricopa county has issued a Temporary Restraining Order preventing any alteration of the outside of the center in favor of the restaurants position, the city faces legal  ramifications by issuing this permit and ignoring the court order. 

The Chinese Cultural Center is a commercial condominium association, True North is only a member of the association, and it shares an undivided interests with other condominium members.  Therefore, if there is anyone to apply any permits for  the changes of the roof, it can not be the partial interests property owner, True North.   (Attached please see the CC&R of the Chinese Cultural Center.)  

The condominium owner has no authority to apply for such a permit.  

The current  tile installed on the Center is called Glazed Clay and True North is proposing to the city to replace it with regular residential tile. The True North application states that it’s reason to do so, is because the Glazed Clay tile roof  is a "20 year old aging roof..." 

The current roof is designed unlike traditional commercial roofs, and is therefore designed to last for over 100 years, outlasting the building life itself.  
True North misstates the condition  of the roof in order to skirt the court order, knowing that their desire to replace the roof and the building would not be approved and less they claim repair as their reason. 

(See below U.S. Department of Interior Website: ( the historical preservation of clay roof tile)

For your additional information, the Center's Roof tile is not only made out of the Clay, but also with a metal material Glaze coating.  All the tiles are baked with over 1000 centigrade temperature, and the  coating will help to prevent the water and weather damage, therefore it is made to last much longer than a “traditional” Roof.  The same tile used on China's Forbidden city has been there for hundreds of years, and for True North to call it a "20 year aging roof", and for the city to agree is a laughing stock and is disrespectful to the public and entire world.

The following is an excerpt from the U.S. Department of Interior website  on the clay roof tile: 

Clay roofing tile itself, when correctly installed, requires little or no maintenance. Often, it is the fastening system used to secure the tiles to the sheathing that fails and needs to be replaced rather than the tiles themselves. In fact, because clay tiles frequently outlasted the building structure,....

So, even the United States Government is using its website to promote the awareness and the preservation qualities of the Clay roof tile.  We call on the City of Phoenix to work with the Chinese community to  do something to help preserve it?

There is not enough said or understood about what is about to be destroyed due to the ignorance of the True North and the relevant city branches.  All who care about human heritage and history are urged preserve the Center's outstanding roof tiles for its residents and all future generations. 

There are many other websites that demonstrate the difference of the Center's roof tile and prove that the iconic tile roof and art can’t accurately be depicted as can not be called as an  "aging 20 year old roof" by True North and Realty Executives:

Again, we demand the permit  issued by the city, which would allow true North and Realty Executives to destroy the iconic Phoenix Chinese cultural Center Roof, be rescinded immediately.   Additionally,  we urge all fair minded individuals to ask themselves what might be the motivation for the city to go against a court restraining order and issue this permit in the first place and what is the motivation for True North and Realty Executives?

For further information: 


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